Michigan judge prevents independent audit and allows certification of Detroit election results
© WikiMedia (Michael Barera)
Michigan judge prevents independent audit and allows certification of Detroit election results

Michigan Judge Timothy M. Kenny denied an attempt Friday to enjoin the Wayne County Board of Canvassers from certifying its US presidential election results and refused to order an independent audit of those results. Two individuals sued the City of Detroit and its election commission for alleged widespread voter fraud at the TCF Center after President-elect Joe Biden won Detroit and the state of Michigan.

Judge Kenny denied the two individual plaintiffs’ petition for injunctive relief, motion for protective order, and motion for an independent audit of the election results. The 13-page opinion weighed the facts of this voter fraud case under Michigan’s four-part test for injunctive relief. The test requires the court to consider (1) the likelihood the party seeking an injunction will prevail on the merits, (2) the possibility of irreparable harm the party will face if the injunction is not granted, (3) the risk that the injunction-seeking party will face more harm without an injunction than the opposing party would face if it were granted, and (4) harm to the public if an injunction is ordered.

The court considered the plaintiffs’ seven affidavits from various election workers but concluded that they were insufficient to meet their burden under MCR 3.310(A)(4). According to Judge Kenny, the affiants’ statements were “decidedly contradicted by the highly-respected former State Elections Director Christopher Thomas . . . .” The judge went on to suggest that:

Perhaps if Plaintiffs’ election challenger affiants had attended the October 29, 2020 walk-though of the TCF Center ballot counting location, questions and concerns could ahve been answered in advance of Election Day. Regrettably, they did not and . . . [thus] did not ahve a full understanding of the TCF absent ballot tabulation process . . . . Plaintiffs’ interpretation of events is incorrect and not credible.

In addition to denying the injunctive relief, the court declined to alter the process of auditing the election results adopted by the Michigan Legislature in 2018. The court stated that it “would be an unprecedented exercise of judicial activism for this Court to stop the certification process,” and that “[t]he Court cannot defy a legislatively crafted process, substitute its judgment for that of the Legislature, and appoint an independent auditor because of an unwieldy process.”

In the end, the court encouraged those unhappy with Michigan’s auditing process to call for legislative, rather than judicial, action.